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View Full Version : 4-link noob <--- anyone have experance ?


TIMZTOY
09-07-2009, 01:20 PM
I'm wanting to sas the front of my 99 taco but if I use the sas kit trail gear sells then I still have to buy the bracket kit from front range off road. Also neither kit from trail gear front or rear was designed for a 99 frame (little wider than 89-95). The sas kit from trail gear comes with 4" spring be and the FROR kit adds 2" which is to high in my opinion with no added flex so it's wasted lift. And I think it would be cheaper in the long run to just build a 4-link from scratch. Balistic fab has the brackets I've got the welder and the skills. Were I need the help would be the geometry. Angles, squat, anti-squat, link location Exc. And I plan on using balistics air/coil hybrid. 14" front 16" rear, but don't want a sky scraper. 4-5" is perfect. I also don't know how to calculate the lift when Using 4-link.

Uncle Ben
09-07-2009, 01:42 PM
Search out the link calculators on Pirate! Do what you want of course but I just say "NO" to Geiger Mart(Trail Gear)!

ElliottB
09-07-2009, 01:47 PM
x2 on the 4-link calculator on Pirate. The most important figures (IMO) are roll axis, anti-squat, and link separation. They are all functions of one another and tricky to dial in just right. If you're sneaky you can copy the design of a 4-link that you've seen tried and trusted. I don't know what the IP trademarks of any of these kits are, but I doubt a company would care as long as you weren't profiting from their design.

J Kimmel
09-07-2009, 03:42 PM
do the best you can with the calculator, see what others have done, and then really you've got to adjust it to fit.
I ended up with a three link on mine simply because it was easer to fit and keep it low, and I still have a steering box. A TJ we did a while back we did 4 links F&R and with 16" coilovers and 42's, managed to get it an inch or two lower than the old 5" RE long arm kit and 36's that were on it.

I never calculated lift on any of them i have done, I usually build the rears at ride height, and then the front at full stuff. Don't know if its right or wrong but its worked so far :)

Uncle Ben
09-07-2009, 04:07 PM
do the best you can with the calculator, see what others have done, and then really you've got to adjust it to fit.
I ended up with a three link on mine simply because it was easer to fit and keep it low, and I still have a steering box. A TJ we did a while back we did 4 links F&R and with 16" coilovers and 42's, managed to get it an inch or two lower than the old 5" RE long arm kit and 36's that were on it.

I never calculated lift on any of them i have done, I usually build the rears at ride height, and then the front at full stuff. Don't know if its right or wrong but its worked so far :)

That's pretty much the way it has to be done! I built my 40 and roughed in the rear first then did the front as the axle reliefs in the front limit up travel on a Cruiser. When I had the ride height figured out in the front I mocked everything up and played with the calculator until the numbers were acceptable. Everything on a link setup messes with the numbers. Your roll center, anti squat and anti dive are the three biggies....everything else can be compensated for. My height is actually the same as it was with the custom leafs I ran before but the rig is taller because I went to 40's from 37"s. If I would have cut the front frame rails and bent some tube I could have lowered the rig by about three inches.

AxleIke
09-07-2009, 05:43 PM
Just so we're clear, if this is the front, you need to concern yourself with anti-dive, not squat. Anti-squat is the concern in the rear.

3link is a lot easier to build up front.

TIMZTOY
09-07-2009, 09:23 PM
yea front and rear. But mainly the front. I've used the calculators and don't like them because there all programed for the rear suspention. I've emailed ppl who programed the calculators to see if it would work for the front but they never got back to me.

TIMZTOY
09-07-2009, 09:28 PM
Search out the link calculators on Pirate! Do what you want of course but I just say "NO" to Geiger Mart(Trail Gear)!

? why, I've never herd anything bad about them yet. And they seam to be the most complete kits and what not.

Uncle Ben
09-07-2009, 09:31 PM
? why, I've never herd anything bad about them yet. And they seam to be the most complete kits and what not.

Search! I'm not going to bash them more than I just did on the public forum.

TIMZTOY
09-07-2009, 09:36 PM
Ok Kewl it's just new news to me. Thanks for the heads up

J Kimmel
09-07-2009, 09:45 PM
do a search in gen 4x4 on pirate, there is a version for the front.

TIMZTOY
09-07-2009, 09:59 PM
thanks

AxleIke
09-07-2009, 10:54 PM
From my own limited experience:

Research A LOT.

Even then, you'll be flying pretty blind, as its totally truck, project, and goal dependent.

Keep in mind the calculators will give you an ideal set up. The likely hood of you being able to get that to work with a bodied truck is pretty small. Those calcs work awesome on a completely, ground up designed, tube chassis rig. There is a "links for dummies" thread on Pirate. Search for it and read up, as it is very helpful. It will help you once you have your calc numbers and have to start compromising to fit on the chassis.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A SPARE VEHICLE. You might get lucky and get it done fast, but probably not. Be prepared to have serious down time while you sort out the assorted bugs and problems.

PLATE THE FRAME anywhere you put brackets. At least an 1/8" plate, 3/16" would be better. Make sure the plates are quite a bit larger than the bracket, so they spread the load out over a large distance.

Learned from UB: Grade 8 will break, as it is hardened and therefore brittle. Grade 5 will bend. 9/16" through 3/4" grade 5 is a good choice for hardware.

J Kimmel
09-07-2009, 11:37 PM
not to disagree, but I wouldn't use anything other than grade 8 for suspension bolts, they will hold up to far more. Last wreckage I incurred in Moab caused me to completely torch off my truss and start over. The lower link bolt on the drive side had to be HAMMERED out since it looked like a "C."

the truss and the bolt bent like a noodle, and all the other bolts held up fine (I replaced them anyhow.)

AxleIke
09-08-2009, 10:12 AM
not to disagree, but I wouldn't use anything other than grade 8 for suspension bolts, they will hold up to far more. Last wreckage I incurred in Moab caused me to completely torch off my truss and start over. The lower link bolt on the drive side had to be HAMMERED out since it looked like a "C."

the truss and the bolt bent like a noodle, and all the other bolts held up fine (I replaced them anyhow.)

Originally that was my thinking too. I couldn't really wrap my head around it.

But, for an example, I borrowed UB's tube bender about a month ago. There is a small, 3/8" bolt that holds the tube retainer in place while you are bending. The old one got so bent I couldn't get it in anymore. So I went out and bought a grade8 bolt to replace it. UB was using his bender just this last week, and, rather than bend, the grade 8 bolt snapped like a twig. He replaced with a grade 5, and it bent, but has been holding.

I'm certainly no expert, and had a hard time believing it myself, but it does make sense, and after seeing it in action, I'm pretty convinced.

daisydog34
09-09-2009, 10:10 PM
PLATE THE FRAME anywhere you put brackets. At least an 1/8" plate, 3/16" would be better. Make sure the plates are quite a bit larger than the bracket, so they spread the load out over a large distance.


I just finished a front and rear 4 link on my 40 truggy and have built them before for j**ps, tacos, race cars, etc. As for the frame plates; I have seen a lot of people lately using a square piece of metal as a "scab plate". This is incorrect, you should NEVER weld vertically along your frame, or horizontally down the middle of your frame. By heating up the steel with the weld you actually create a weak point in the frame. Thus accomplishing nothing and actually making the mounting point weaker! Use a foot ball shape, or a diamond shape when welding to the frame.

I have seen in this thread people refering to a "3 link" im guessing people mean a 3 link with a panhard bar of some sorts. on a front axle you HAVE to have something to locate the axle left to right. This is one of the harder aspects of building a 4 link in the front. With a 4 link this is accomplished with your separation of links. Many times I have had customers that wanted a true 4 link, but we didn't have the room in the front for the seperation needed to control the front axles lateral movement. The calc wont really help you with this...more of a from experience or trial and error. If I didn't have full hydro steering on my rig I dont think I would have the lateral control I need to keep the axle centered while steering. If you get into this and decided it's not for you, let me know me and buddy of mine do this kind of thing on the side all the time. Custom built for your budget, wants and needs.

If you need more help let me know I probably build 2-4 of these a year for guys I know

TIMZTOY
09-09-2009, 11:18 PM
Cool daisy. I'll let you know thanks for the info. I might hold off on the taco for now. Because I just came into possition of a striped 40 with good tub. And will problky be making that I to a designated trail rig instead of butchering my daily driver. And the wife like that idea a lot better anyways. Because she loves the taco. And well p•••y control wins. LOL. :bowdown: